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JAGS BOSS SALUTES CELTIC ‘MACHINE’

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PARTICK THISTLE boss Alan Archibald reckons Celtic are “like a machine” and even stronger than last season.

Brendan Rodgers’ treble-winners face the Jags at Firhill tonight after starting the domestic campaign with a 4-1 Premiership hammering of Hearts and a 5-0 Betfred League Cup drubbing of Kilmarnock.

Archibald said: “I think they are even better. I think the win on Tuesday just reinforced it with the amount of changes they made.

“They made a few changes against us last year and they weren’t as strong as they were the other night.

“They are like a machine with the guys who come in. They just looked the same. They played a similar way in terms of tempo, pressing the ball and with the ball. They are certainly stronger squad-wise.”

The Hoops made eight changes and started with five teenagers against Killie. At the age of 20, Keiran Tierney became the club’s youngest-ever skipper when he took over the armband from suspended Scott Brown, who will return this evening.

Thistle have never beaten Rodgers’ men in the Premiership, losing all but one of their 19 meetings – a 1-1 draw at Parkhead in April ending a run of 24 consecutive defeats overall in the fixture.

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